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Butler County residents during the upcoming weeks will likely experience some travel delays along stretches of road located between Brainard and Dwight.

Jim Novacek, assistant highway superintendent for the Butler County Highway Department, said through an emailed statement that construction work along an approximately 8-mile stretch is slated to begin this week.

“A contractor will be milling and overlaying the 8 miles of asphalt road from Brainard to Dwight and we wanted the public to know that they should expect delays for the duration of the construction,” Novacek said.

The project is tagged at approximately $1.4 million and also includes some direct roadwork to be completed in both Brainard and Dwight, but the vast majority of construction is taking place in-between the two towns, Butler County Highway Superintendent Jim McDonald said.

“It hasn’t been done for a long time and the road is cracked and broken up,” said McDonald, who has served in his existing position since November 2018. "They (Butler County Board of Supervisors) have been putting money away for the last few years to get this done.”

The highway superintendent noted that the project has been discussed for some time, adding that to his knowledge it had been on the county’s one-year road plan for a few years. Projects on the short-term one-year plan, though, can take longer than a year to complete – it’s very contingent on available funding and manpower.

McDonald said that construction length will be determined by how well Mother Nature cooperates. If all goes as planned, Lincoln-based contractor Constructors Inc. should have the roadwork completed in the next four to six weeks.

The project should serve as an overall benefit to frequent fliers of that 8-mile stretch and also hold up well over time, McDonald said.

“There really should be about a 10- to 12-year lifespan before anything really has to be done other than some surface treatment,” he said. “We may need to get on (the road) and do an asphalt reactivation spray in five or six years, or maybe do some sort of chip seal where they spray down tar and lay down some rock or gravel, but that’s about it.

“It should last a long time, it’s hard to say exactly how long, though … It should be a good road for a long time after we complete this project.”

How much delay travelers will face is still not completely clear, McDonald added. The goal, he said, is to leave as many stretches open as possible.

“Through the milling, the road could be closed during the day and then back open again at night,” he said. “It’s usually not a heavily traveled stretch of road.”

For additional project details as they arise, those interested are encouraged to visit the Banner-Press’ website.

Sam Pimper is the news editor of The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at sam.pimper@lee.net.

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